2012 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 3A CAL/NEC (Division 4)

Georgetown

  • Last year's record: 1-9
  • Strength: Size on the offensive line, veteran leaders, and receiver depth.
  • Concerns: Depth and size on defensive line
  • Coach: Paul Sobolewski (9th season, 50-46 in 9 seasons (2003-05 at Pope John, 19-12; 2006-10 at Winchester, 30-25; 2011 at Georgetown, 1-9).)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Royals will go as far as their veteran offensive line can take them. With 5 starters back on the line, including 6-2, 280-pound junior tackle Connor Desantis and 6-2, 260-pound Brandon Willis, Georgetown should have a strong running game. "Last year we started seven sophomores and two freshmen," said Sobolewski. "We are lucky to have a lot of players who are experienced come back." Junior Jackson Fritz and senior Niko Edwards are competing for the starting quarterback spot.

Hamilton-Wenham

  • Last year's record: 11-1
  • Strength: Quarterback.
  • Concerns: Graduation losses.
  • Coach: Andrew Morency (7th season, 39-23)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Generals followed up a great regular season (10-0) that included the CAL/NEC Division 3 title, by earning a berth in the Division 3A Super Bowl. Despite a loss to Bourne, the season was a huge success. Trevor Lyons, the Division 3A Player of the Year, is back and should lead a potent H-W attack. The Generals have back-to-back 5-0 records at home.

Ipswich

  • Last year's record: 4-6
  • Strength: Size along the offensive line, experience and veteran leadership, athleticism.
  • Concerns: Quarterback, and depth concerns.
  • Coach: Ted Flaherty (8th season, 36-71)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Ipswich looks to rebound after a sub .500 season by solidifying their physical, wing-t offense. Returning senior tailback Peter Moutevelis and returning junior fullback Derek Chamberlain will be focal points of the Tiger's run-heavy offense. "[Moutevelis and Chamberlain] are both very strong and they both work hard. We are a running team and they enhance our running team," said head coach Ted Flaherty. "They are going to allow us to control the ball and play to our strengths as a physical and powerful team." The Tigers also boast a more physical offensive line that will be able to create holes for their running back tandem and will allow them to control the line of scrimmage. The Tigers are starting four seniors on the offensive line, including 6-1, 200-pound tackle Brendan Sweeney, and 6-1, 245-pound tackle Benjamin O'Neil. "We are a smaller school and it has been a challenge to control the line of scrimmage recently, but this year our offensive line is going to be much improved this year," said Flaherty. Senior captain John Elnagger, a 6-0, 197 pound-guard anchors the Tigers offensive line. "In our offense we run the wing T and our guards have to be very athletic and physical," said Flaherty. "They are almost like running backs on the line and Elnagger is our leader on offense." The Tigers are also making adjustments to their defense and will look to blitz more this year and try to increase pressure on opposing quarterbacks. "I think the defensive line and the linebackers will do a good job of pressuring quarterbacks," said Flaherty. "This year our defensive ends are a little bit smaller, but they are quicker, and more athletic. This will allow us to draw up different blitzing schemes." The Tigers have a fresh set of quarterbacks this season that have acclimated well to the tigers' offense this off-season. 6-0, 170 pound Junior Kyle Elomster and 5-9, 147 pound sophomore Eddie Flaherty have split repetitions at the quarterback position. "We have some new people at the quarterback spot which is an area of concern in terms of how long it will take for them to get to speed," said Flaherty. "I just want them to manage and not win the game. Overall we have to make sure that people are on the right places because we can't make any mistakes and penalties have really hurt us."

Lynnfield

  • Last year's record: 5-6
  • Strength: Veteran experience, depth in receiving position, physical defense.
  • Concerns: Lack of depth.
  • Coach: Neil Weidman (5th season, 27-10)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Lynnfield looks to achieve a model of consistency each game in every stage of the game. The Pioneers boast an experienced, veteran team, particularly on defense where they will have seven returning starters. Alex Pacucci, Tyler Palumbo, Andrew Kibarian, and D.J. DeGeorge will captain the team and lead the front seven. "They are all upperclassmen. They are older, bigger, and more physical, and they all know what is going on," said head coach Neil Weidman. Captain Mike Karavetsos will be making his second stint as the varsity quarterback and looks to make strides in the Pioneers spread offense. "[Karavetsos] knows how to run it. He is experienced, this is the second he has run it, and understands all of the fundamentals especially throwing the ball," said Weidman. "We also have three or four different guys to throw the ball to and work well in our spread." The Pioneers are optimistic about the season after finishing a productive training camp. "Training camp was what I expected. The players understand their roles on the team and we have had strong veteran leadership," said Weidman. "Our returning starters will be our most important asset and hopefully we can be well-rounded."

Manchester Essex

  • Last year's record: 5-6
  • Strength: Quarterback, backfield and receivers.
  • Concerns: Size on offensive and defensive line.
  • Coach: Michael Athanas (9th season, 48-43)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Manchester Essex returns this season with a strong offense primed to make a run for a league title. Senior quarterback Cory Burnham, grouped with senior running back Jake Fitzgerald and senior wide receiver John Beardsley, gives the Hornets a versatile offense that will keep defenses guessing. "Cory has a presence running the ball well out of the spread offense and he does a good job throwing the ball well," said head coach Michael Athanas. "Jake carries the ball a good amount for us and he runs hard and fast and knows how to get to the hole and make plays out in the open field. John has great speed, good hands, and runs great routes." Additionally, Athanas is confident in the Hornets aerial attack and anticipates Burnham and Beardsley to pack a strong one-two punch. "These two guys [Burnham and Beardlsey] are key to manipulating the defense," Athanas said. "They have playing together all through pewee and hopefully they can maintain their strong connection and have a lot of production." The defensive line features twin brothers Mike and Will Davis who will play opposite each other at defensive end. Standing at 6-1 and 200 pounds each, this tandem looks to make an immediate impact while pressuring opposing quarterbacks. "Defensive end is an important position and they are big strong kids and can be impact players at that position for us," said Athanas. "I still get confused between the two, but once they get their numbers on it get a little bit easier." Senior co-captain Zack Flemming will also add depth to the defensive line position and will anchor the defense at the tackle position. "We want to go out and play hard. We expect to try to play for that league championship," said Athanas It's our second year in the league and we are committed to going out and winning all of our league games."

North Reading

  • Last year's record: 7-3
  • Strength: Veteran leadership, strong running game, and size on the offensive and defensive line.
  • Concerns: A lack of depth in the skill positions.
  • Coach: Jeff Wall (10th season, 38-53)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Hornets open the season confident after a second-place finish in the CAL/NEC Division 4, and bouncing back from a 1-9 record two years ago. They have seven returning starters on defense and six on offense and boast strong veteran leadership. Lead by senior captain and all-league running back Carl Lipani (Division 3A leading 151 points), the Hornets look to expand their single wing offense. As the team's primary running back, Lipani will look to carry the ball up to 30 times a game. Junior wingback C.J. McCarthy will pair up with Lipani to form a formidable one-two punch in the backfield. "Last year it was rough in the beginning when we dropped two of the first three because we tried to keep it basic and we were transitioning from a spread offense," said coach Wall. Additionally, the Hornets anticipate their quarterback Jackson Kellogg becoming a larger factor in their developing offense. Wall looks for Kellogg to throw the ball more this season, after throwing only 19 times last season, in order to keep defenses honest. Throughout training camp, Wall and the coaching staff have preached fundamentals to their defense. "We are trying to tweak our philosophy and get back to the basics. This includes encouraging strong tackling and blocking technique, running up the field to make a tackle," said Wall. "These things get put to the side when you try to plan the schemes." The Hornets believe that their offensive and defensive line boasts big athletic players after a strong off-season. Junior Mike Cresta who plays both guard and middle linebacker, and offensive and defensive lineman Ryan Boucher looks to make an immediate impact on both sides of the football and create holes on offense and stuffs holes on defense. The surprise of this year's camp is freshman Nick O'Connell. The 6-1 215 pound offensive linemen and defensive end has been extremely productive on defense during scrimmages and in training camp.

3 games to watch

Sept
7
Everett at Leominster

The Crimson Tide take a 25-game winning streak into this game against the reigning CMass Division 1 Super Bowl champs.

Oct
12

With Troy Flutie and company on one side and Ozzy Colarusso on the other side, all signs point to a great, high-scoring game.

Nov
10
Cathedral at Pope John

A rematch of the game that decided the Central Catholic Small winner in 2011. Cathedral won, 16-12, and went on to the Super Bowl.

Preseason Top 20

Rank Team Last year
1 Everett 13-0
2 BC High 10-3
3 Xaverian 6-5
4 St. John's Prep 4-6
5 Barnstable 7-5
6 Bridgewater-Raynham 9-2
7 Duxbury 13-0
8 King Philip 9-2
9 Natick 9-2
10 Walpole 9-3
11 Weymouth 9-2
12 Brockton 5-6
13 Mashpee 13-0
14 Reading 8-4
15 Andover 7-4
16 Needham 9-4
17 Mansfield 9-2
18 Central Catholic 6-5
19 Westford 6-5
20 Beverly 7-4